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Revolution


Power Pride and Arrogance or Ignorance and Naiveté

Speaker Pelosi has placed herself in the position of defending the wording of her message to Syrian President Assad.

The issue is really not whether or not she delivered the wrong message – the issue is Speaker Pelosi’s obvious naiveté regarding politics on the world stage. Her demeanor is scary, dangerous and somewhat foolish.  She is the person only two steps away from assuming the Presidency of the United States and she is acting like a power crazed court jester.

Perhaps she did not violate any diplomatic rules when communicating with President Assad but she put herself in the position of being second guessed and criticized.  She is operating in an arena where she has no qualifications and obviously fewer skills on the world stage.  Does she really believe King Abdullah cares one bit about the number of women in authority in Saudi Arabia?  The comment did make for some good sound bytes however.

So now we have Prime Minister Olmert of Israel telling us that Speaker Pelosi delivered a message he did not authorize.  Speaker Pelosi’s press machine is already in full defense telling anyone who will listen how she did not break any rules and stayed within the boundaries of her office.  Once again, I say it does not matter what message she delivered it matters that she is not qualified to play in this sandbox. 

Will Syria now assume they are more than a second class country on the world stage?  No one really knows but visits from self important demagogues will certainly not take away from this perception.  Will King Abdullah realize the error of his ways and appoint more females to important posts within the Saudi government?  When pigs fly!!!  As a matter of fact King Abdullah is now preaching the rhetoric that the U.S. is an invader in Arab lands and needs to leave the area post haste.  He is putting a multi billion dollar arms deal with the U.S. in jeopardy with his current stance on U.S. Mideast Policy. 

One would have to suspect that King Abdullah is concerned with his power base in Saudi Arabia due to the large influence of radical Islamist in the country.  Perhaps we need to stop selling arms to the Saudi’s and let them slowly return to the 7th century.  The radicals talk about returning to the glory of ancient Islam but I really wonder what they would do if they no longer had air conditioning and Coca-Cola.  Remove the facade they have installed and we might see they really like Western culture. 

Speaker Pelosi – please keep up the good work and you may find yourself wearing a veil and being the servant matron for King Assad.  Should radical Islam get their wish and dominate the world stage including the United States, it will be ironic that individuals such as Nancy Pelosi would be the first to have their power diminished in a male dominated culture.  Good thing she does not qualify for one of the 72 virgins’ positions.

Terry

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Another reason to just say “NO” to Hillary and her friends who want to give us universal health care. I can’t say it any better than Ronald Bailey from his post on the Reason website Hit & Run blog.  Here’s a bit of Bailey’s post:

“Well, look no further than the scandalous mess at Walter Reed Army Hospital. Crappy hospitals, endless waits, mountains of paperwork and, at the end of the day, no real accountability from the people who run the joint. Folks, if the government can’t or won’t take good care of our injured soldiers, what makes you think that it will take good care of little Sally or Uncle Bill?”

Now, do we really want to put total control of all health care in the hands of those who wrecked it in first place – Congress, states and federal agencies? I don’t think so. It is the wrong way to go … pure and simple.

When any bureaucrat starts talking about universal health care, start asking the tough questions.

As Will Rogers said, “It’s a good thing we don’t get all the government we pay for.”

Richard


If you don’t read Orange County Register columnist Steven Greenhut on a regular basis, you should.  His column from February 25th is a jewel. It’s entitled, Customers Rule. In this opinion piece, Steven’s main point is this: Why in the hell does the American public and media get themselves all worked up into a lather and put all of their focus on the occasional bad practices of the private sector but rarely focuses this same level of outrage on Bad Government. Here’s a great quote from Steven’s piece: “No matter how demonstrably bad the government may be, legislators, and even many regular folks, focus much outrage at the private sector – the only portion of society that works relatively efficiently and humanely.”

I wonder this, too, Steven. It’s a great question.

Yes, there are bad people in the business world and there are bad businesses, too.  Yes, there is no excuse for fraud and abuse and for the bad people who took Enron down. But where’s this same outrage over BAD government? Sure, JetBlue screwed up badly during the recent snow storms and left a bunch of people on airplanes for WAY too many hours. These people were abused for sure.  But JetBlue came right back and offered to make it right with customers and create a customer Bill of Rights. Now consider the abuse we take from the government, day in and day out? Steven asks a great question on this subject,  “When was the last time the government offered to reimburse you for being stuck on one of its highways or in one of its offices?” Can you say “NEVER!”

At least the majority of businesses listen to the customer. We can’t say that about government. But it’s about time the American public started demanding that government start listening to it.

As it stands now, the American public is sliding down the razor blade of life as long as we do not demand better service from our government officials.  There is nothing worse than energizing incompetents and this is what the American public is doing by not complaining more about our incompetent government.  Start complaining and holding government officials to the same standards we profess to hold business executives to.

As Steven states, “Government always seeks to stop, regulate, control, tax and put the kibosh on new ideas and entrepreneurship.” I couldn’t agree more. In business, one has to think to be successful. Not too many government officials know how to think. In our capitalist economy, if you know how to think, the rewards are sensational for those who can make things happen.

It ain’t brain surgery.

Richard


Debt.

It is so simple, I really don’t know why we even need to talk about it, but we do.  Here’s a “LABS” moment (LABS is short for Life Ain’t Brain Surgery):

YOU WILL GO INTO DEBT IF YOU SPEND MORE THAN YOU BRING IN!

Sorry folks … but I have to say it: Life Ain’t Brain Surgery.

Look … I did it. Terry did it. We all have spent more than we took in. And we knew we were going in debt. That didn’t make it right then, and it doesn’t make it right now. Don’t spend more than you make. Pay as you go. Good advice.

Sure, the house is different. Although, some folks will advocate that even going in debt for a home is a bad decision. Another argument for another day.

Why do so many Americans go so in debt? For what? STUFF! Just stuff. Shopping appears to me to be a pasttime, not a necessity. Quit buying stuff. Most folks don’t need it. Buy what you need. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. It ain’t brain surgery.

I think that this buying binge is contagious. Look at our congressional folks. They spend money like there is no tomorrow. I guess it is easy when it isn’t your money. But they need to stop spending money they don’t have, too. It is  insane to me.

Why the hell is the richest country on the earth in debt up to its eyeballs? Just doesn’t make sense to me. And why are so many young Americans in debt? Maybe they see the American government in debt and think it is OK. If the government set a better example, maybe Americans would follow suit. Makes sense to me.

Start teaching some financial responsibilities in grade school if need be. But let’s start teaching our children to stay out of debt. Debt is only good for the lenders – not the ones borrowing the money. Eliminate the need. It ain’t brain surgery.

Richard


I have finally been convinced of what I consider to be fact and that is … There is very little difference between the two major political parties.  Now before you take issue with this statement let me elaborate just a little.  First, I know the statement is not original.  Untold numbers of pundits and analysts have been saying the same thing for years.  The primary problem, I believe, is not many people really care one way or another.  Those of us who do care were highly invigorated when the Republicans took back the house in 1994.  Since 1994 the Republican led congress has gone out of their way to conceal their so called conservative viewpoints.  Those of us who voted for a Republican controlled congress did so for a reason but those we put into office put their own interest above those they chose to serve.  Now we are stuck with 535 members of American royalty sucking the lifeblood out of American taxpayers.

Let’s not forget the executive branch either.  I voted twice for “W” and given the choice of Gore and Kerry, I would do it again but “W” gives the appearance of a closet liberal.  Look at our policies on education and immigration. No Child Left Behind is nothing more than Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society with another name.  Every attempt to legislate education rather than attack the core problem further complicates everyone’s life.  Our education problems in the United States are more of a cultural issue than a political issue.  Immigration on the other hand is a huge political issue.  Nothing has been done under the current administration to stem the rising tide of Hispanic immigrants into the United States.  This is an old song but one that needs to be sung by all citizens, natural born or otherwise.

Now we are reading about the document signed between the United States and Mexico in June of 2004.  In case you have not heard the document basically gives Mexicans illegal or otherwise access to Social Security once they have accumulated 18 months of documented working time in the Estados Unidos.  If you do not know how this translates you need to get used to it.  The treaty, or document as it were, has not been sent to congress for ratification.  Why not you ask? Well because Congress only has 60 days to ratify this “treaty” or it becomes a non issue.  Due to the current political climate in the USA, there might just be a little consternation if such a deal between the U.S. and Mexico becomes too widely known. The Bush administration for some reason does not want Congress to let this issue die nor do they want the American public to gain much knowledge about the issue. For more information go to this article on the subject (“Critics say Social Security deal would give billlions to Mexicans”) at the Houston Chronicle Newspaper online.  Interesting reading!

As of this last week we are blessed with a Democrat controlled congress.  I cannot tell you how much better I sleep knowing this bunch of clowns is in charge.  I seriously doubt we will see much difference with the exception of additional taxation.  “W” has almost two years left in office and nothing to lose so I would really appreciate him using his veto powers to try and hold back the tidal wave of entitlements and tax increases we are bound to see.  Minimum wage is just the beginning.  No, I am not against the working man earning a decent wage.  Minimum wage is nothing more than another political football.  The statistics of those earning the minimum wage are very revealing considering that the majority of individuals in this category are young, work part time, are not the sole breadwinner for a family and live above the poverty line.  Why then is such a furor being created about less than 1.5 % of the working population?  The answer is simple; it makes good press and sounds good.  Will raising the minimum wage help those living in poverty?  Probably not, because they will be the first ones laid off and their goods and services will now cost more.  The price of increasing wages is not going to be absorbed by business or by any business owner.  The increase will be absorbed by you and me and any one else who purchases goods and services and this is how it should be.  Can we wipe out poverty?  Can we make someone go to school or strive to be the best they can be?  Can we make laws outlawing ignorance and poverty?  The answers are evident and the answer in all cases is NO.  We can attempt to educate and assist those in need and we can try and instill the desire to succeed in our employees, friends and family but we will never be successful 100% of the time.  Our elected officials would rather make all citizens suffer at the expense of a few.  This is not the prudent way to run a country, business or family.  There comes a time when facts must be faced and the needs of the many may exceed the needs of the few.  Will any politician have the courage to tell the truth and stand behind their belief?  Time will tell, Time will tell!

Terry


As we go into 2007, take a minute to read the following story. Yes … it is a little long – but it is worth the read. When you stop and ponder your daily trials and tribulations, think about John Hanson and the other men and women who helped to form this great nation of ours.  

What if your name was John Hanson? And what if you were actually the first President of the United States? And what if no one remembered?

That’s exactly what happened and I’m here to set the record straight. Once I discovered him, I became a big fan of President John Hanson because of his incredible level of determination.

Let’s turn the clock back to April 3, 1715, and focus on Charles County, Maryland. That’s the day he was born and that’s where it happened. He came from a family of great traditions in the colonies.

His grandfather was one of the founders of New Sweden along the Delaware River; one of his nephews was the military secretary to George Washington; another was a signer of the Declaration; still another was a signer of the Constitution; another was Governor of Maryland during the Revolution; another was a member of the first Congress. Other ancestors served the colonies in similar positions. Hanson made major contributions to the life of the nation through his descendants.

As a boy, on his own, he was an avid reader of the classics and studied the great leaders of the Reformation. As an adult, like most colonists, he was a farmer. His Mulberry Grove farm was just across the Potomac from Mount Vernon. Hanson continued to study legal and theological concepts. This led him to become passionate about the cause of the patriots in the colonies.

In time he became one of the strongest colonial advocates of independence. From 1757 to 1773, he served in the Maryland Assembly and was active in raising troops and providing arms. In 1777 he became a member of the Continental Congress where he exemplified his brilliance as an administrator. He also helped resolve the western land issue, thus facilitating the ratification of the Articles of Confederation.

Looking back, The Articles of Confederation was a document proposed on June 11, 1776. The Continental Congress rendered official the Declaration of Independence on July 4th of that year. The United States was actually formed on March 1, 1781, with the signing of The Articles of Confederation.

At that point, a President was needed to run the country. Under those Articles of Confederation, John Hanson was elected “President of the United States in Congress Assembled” in 1781. He was chosen unanimously by Congress.

John Hanson was so popular in Congress that all the other potential candidates refused to run against him. He was a major player in the Revolution and an extremely influential member of Congress. And that Congress voted to provide the new President with a house and servants, and ruled that he “takes precedence of all and every person in the United States.”

One member of the Congress that elected Hanson, George Washington, wrote his colleague: “I congratulate your Excellency on your appointment to fill the most important seat in the United States.”

President Hanson took office just as the Revolutionary War had ended. No one had ever held the position before and there were no guidelines for the position. There were huge challenges from the very beginning. The military, having concluded a long war, demanded to be paid and there were no funds for their salaries. Some soldiers threatened to overthrow the new government and place George Washington in the position of King.

Members of Congress ran for their lives and left President Hanson holding the bag. Somehow, he was able to calm the troops and he held the country together. The alternative would have been disastrous and we could have ended up living under a monarch.

President Hanson then ordered all foreign flags and foreign troops off American soil. Considering the fact that a number of European countries had had a vested interest in the United States since the time of Columbus, this was quite a feat.

Hanson established the first Treasury Department, the first Secretary of War, the first Foreign Affairs Department, Thanksgiving Day, and the Great Seal of the United States. During his administration, a post office department was started, a national bank was chartered, progress was made toward taking the first census, and a uniform system of coinage was adopted. He was also responsible for initiating a number of programs that helped America gain a world position.

The Articles of Confederation called for a President to serve only one year. Thus, John Hanson served from November 5, 1781 until November 3, 1782. Considering the fact that he was only in office for 12 months, he accomplished quite a bit in very little time.

The Articles of Confederation, giving too much power to the states, did not work well. Not much could be agreed upon on a national basis. What was needed came in the form of the Constitution.

The Constitution established not merely a league of states but a government that exercised its authority directly over all citizens. The Constitution also defined clearly the powers of the national government. In addition, it established protection for the rights of the states and of every individual. It was signed on September 17, 1787.

Six other Presidents were elected after John Hanson before the Constitution was signed and George Washington was elected to the Presidency, starting his first four-year term in 1789.

So, the next time you hear that George Washington was the father of our country, you may want to recall the name of John Hanson. He could be labeled the “grandfather of our country.” It was his incredible level of determination that helped the United States get born.

Reprinted from an article entitled The Real First President by Boaz Rauchwerger © 2003. Visit Mr. Rauchwerger’s website http://www.boazpower.com/

I hope you have a safe and wonderful New Year Holiday! Wishing you the best in 2007. Keep smiling.

Richard